People who have basic banking questions will from today to be able to put these to a “digital assistant” on ANZ’s website.
ANZ is enabling people with cameras and microphones on their computers, mobile phones or tablets to speak to “Jamie”, which has been programmed to answer questions on the 30 most frequently searched topics on the Help section of ANZ’s website.
Instead of ringing a call centre, visiting a branch, or searching ANZ’s website, people can ask Jamie questions, much like they would using Siri on an Apple device, or Google Assistant on an Android one.
ANZ NZ’s head of digital and transformation, Liz Maguire, explains Jamie can answer, ‘How do I…?’ questions, not ‘Should I…?’ questions.
For example, ‘How do I… open a banking account, send money overseas, get a credit card, retrieve a lost customer number?’ and so on.
Because Jamie doesn’t provide financial advice, she can’t answer questions that require specific customer information.
ANZ acknowledges it is still trialling Jamie; the plan being to broaden the suite of topics she can provide assistance on in the future.
ANZ will keep all the transcripts of conversations Jamie has, so it can get a sense of the sorts of questions Jamie can’t answer, and enhance the way she’s programmed accordingly.
Maguire assures that while people need to turn on both their camera and microphone to talk to Jamie, the transcripts ANZ collects won’t be identifiable by customer.
Jamie has a digital human face and persona. Over time, ANZ might enable people to choose what they want Jamie to look like and what language she speaks.
The New Zealand artificial intelligence company, Soul Machine, has taken care of the tech behind Jamie. It has used a system that models the human brain to try to give Jamie human-like personality.
It has even gone so far as to programming Jamie to answer non-banking related questions like, ‘What movies do you like? What do you like doing? Do you like rugby? And Are you smart?’
The aim is to ensure interactions with Jamie are conversational.
Maguire also hopes Jamie appeals to those who aren’t as comfortable using ANZ’s other digital channels.
ANZ is the first bank in New Zealand to make a digital assistant available to the public.
Jamie can be accessed from https://help.anz.co.nz.